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Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 8:30 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Managers






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Post #1568264
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 9:56 PM
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I always thought a compensation structure modeled after sports teams made sense in the context of high-performing development teams. The manager ("coach") makes a good salary, but it's the star players making the real money (team owners not withstanding). Better still if a good chunk of the "players'" compensation is tied to performance (individual and team). The better the team does, the better everyone does.


Post #1568268
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:17 PM
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There is always a difference between a good technical resource and a good leader, its the most common mistake, its just like R-BAR in Sql Server, and i cant understand why this always happen.

Most of the time all the people know which one should be the manager, but Employer always think otherwise.


factory-like mentalities where managers needed to oversee workers and give them little leeway or choice in how they perform their jobs


Steve Just nailed this.
Post #1568277
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 1:42 AM
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[Managers should] Help them get delays, issues, and problems not related to their tasks out of the way and let them get work done.


I agree with this, and said as much to one of our directors when he suggested that my manager would only pass a task to me (it was to do with office safety or something similar). I believe I phrased it as "No, that's managers work, why keep a dog and bark yourself? It's not like we keep him around for his good looks!" This got a very bemused look from said director, who obviously assumed that the manager employed us, and not the other way around.
Post #1568310
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:00 AM


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Unfortunately ambition plays too large a part.

One perfect example I know was of a graduate with an IT bachelors degree took less than 5 years to become a manager. Not through a graduate management scheme but though the technical route. The scary thing was that he had worked only in two firms which, in my opinion, were/are both poorly run (both being very political and not very smart when it came to hard project choices e.g. one knowingly delayed a whole programme of work by an additional five months by pretending to achieve the completion milestone in two months when it need a further 6-8 weeks - project management cowardice!!!). He does not have the depth nor breadth of experience and not enough training either. Nor has he had a mentor.

The team is miserable, underperforms and is creating technical debt on a daily basis. Trouble is that it is looking good to upper management whilst he can paint over the cracks and the team can polyfiller the rest but ask a plasterer and he will tell you that in not too long a time it will all come off the wall (and never at a convenient moment).

I fear that this will burn him out. He seems to be coping last time I saw him but I did perceive a few cracks appearing which I think are down to inexperience both in execution of the job and how to deal with it. I wish him well (although I doubt that he would believe it if he read this).


Gaz

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Post #1568315
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:06 AM


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It is all about corporate politics that a person who should be ideal manager does not get the post while others get it

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Post #1568318
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:10 AM


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Mostly I like my managers to sort out the financial side of things too. I don't like to be grubbing around customers for invoices or whatever, seems to spoil relationships somewhat. I'm kind of a manager myself to be fair but only in terms of technical leadership.

What I don't like is managers that think it's their job to point at gantt charts and grunt about what you need to be doing. If they are doing their job they'll know what's going on and why we are where we are and not be trying to push you around.
Post #1568319
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:14 AM


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Hopefully someone can assist with the relevant citation for me, but I recall reading Mythical Man Month and thinking about the insights Brooks had from IBM(?) where they had two tracks managerial and technical. Generally you were expected to be an expert in one and not both, based on the belief that that you can't spend enough time on both to be more than mediocre at both.

I've had the fortune to lead a small team and be responsible for junior analysts and whilst it was neat to be able to train them and form an effective team, I got really bored being away from technical challenges. I personally wouldn't want to be a manager but I really value good managers for being able to handle all the politics, team interactions, meetings, project prioritisations and all the other stuff that is needed.

The proposition that managers should be de facto paid less than technical experts isn't something I agree with. I'd suggest the amount of management a particularly strong set of technical experts needs is actually significantly higher and more complex than a team of mediocre techies as they will need interactions with folks higher up the company and the pressures are greater. Such a person needs to be very skilled at management and their pay should reflect that.
Post #1568322
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:21 AM
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I've had a few bad managers over the years, but mostly they were NOT the ones promoted from the technical ranks. The technical ones have known what I'm doing and what I'm up against, and have been an incredible support by going to the meetings, extracting decisions from them, and trying to shelter me from all the political stuff that gets in the way of my job. I'd HATE to have to do that, so I think they deserve every penny of extra income! Working for a good person has been top priority for me for many years now: thanks to Roger, Melvin, and Gary who have fit the bill!
Post #1568325
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:24 AM


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In certain instances I could see that paying managers less might be an option.

I would also like for groups to elect their own managers. Like everyone says generally most groups know who would be best in charge.

I've been in several setups where the managers are the nuttiest people but they are the ones with their houses in the company and risking everything sometimes even using their credit cards as bridging loans. I have generally had sympathy for these individuals even if not totally agreeing with their management techniques.
Post #1568326
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